UK & World News

  • 28 March 2014, 1:57

Jet Engine 'Explodes' At Airport: Four Hurt

Four people were injured after a plane's engine reportedly "exploded" at the start of a Swiss Air flight out of London City Airport.

They suffered minor injuries in what airline officials called a "technical issue".

All the passengers on Swiss International Airlines Flight LX437 from London City to Geneva had to flee the plane in an emergency evacuation.

A picture of the plane taken immediately after the alert showed passengers running from the aircraft which was stationary on a runway with its emergency chutes inflated. 

The plane was carrying 74 passengers and four crew on board at the time, a spokeswoman said.

Mike Mompi, 28, who was flying to Switzerland for a ski holiday, said the Avro RJ100 was revving up on the runway for take-off when the engine "exploded".

"There was a large bang and flames which grew and grew and large chunks of what looked like chunks of red-hot metal started flying up," he said.

"People started freaking out."

He added: "In about 20 seconds we would have been in the air."

An airport spokeswoman said: "London City Airport can confirm that a technical issue occurred on board Swiss flight LX437 due to depart to Geneva at around 3pm on Thursday March 27.

"Seventy four passengers and four crew were evacuated immediately and three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries by the London Ambulance Service."

The airport's runway was closed for more than an hour but reopened a short time ago.

Passengers were warned to expect disruption. Flights to and from Paris, Luxembourg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were shown on the airport's website as having been affected.

Swiss International confirmed that the Avro RJ100 aircraft suffered an engine problem and the pilot aborted take-off.

A Swiss spokeswoman said: "The pilot aborted take-off at low speed due to an engine problem.

"Passengers and crew have been safely evacuated."

She added that the company had launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

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